Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Horror, The Horror . . .

Recently one of our Sunday school teachers asked me if she could organize a tie-dye party for the Sunday School kids. It sounded like a fun summer activity. This woman is creative, generous, and nurturing with perhaps just the merest hint of space cadet stirred into the mix. Really just the kind of person you want to have active in your children's ministry.

A few days before the event, which I was going to be unable to attend personally because of a prior engagement, she asked if she and the kids could make some tie-dyed paraments. Now, normally I would have channeled this energy in another direction. ("I know! Let's tie-dye a dozen pillowcases for the women's shelter!") But I'm trying to be very gentle with my people right now; attending to the possibility that odd suggestions and behavior are part of their process of working through their grief at the church's closing.

So, against my better judgement, I said, "Why not?" I figured at least we'd only have to use them once.

But when she asked, "Can we make some tie-dyed paraments?" I assumed she intended to make them out of some old sheets or bath towels cut down to the approximate size and shape of paraments. But no. NO!! She took our ACTUAL WHITE PARAMENTS and TIE-DYED them!!! Whatever you are imagining in your mind at this moment, let me assure you they look worse. When I arrived to retrieve my own children from the event, they were already drying on the line. I was stunned speechless.

"What do you think?" she asked.
"I've never seen anything like it in my life," I replied.

Now, dear friends in the blogosphere. My church is closing this fall. We will have no further use for these cutting edge liturgical art creations. To the first person who contacts me with an interest in acquring these for your church, I will ship these to you, free of charge. Yes, to even international addresses.

16 comments:

Friday Mom said...

I am laughing so hard right now!!! Do you know anyone who works in Haight-Ashbury or Fairfax, CA? They might find meaning in these newly dyed paraments.

cheesehead said...

Fairfax. Definitely Fairfax. There a Congregational Church there. They'll take'em off your hands! (I'll be FM knows the one I'm talking about.)

I have yet to convince my congregation that we might use paraments at all. I think this would put the poor dears over the edge.

reverendmother said...

Oh.My.Sweet.Lord.

Quotidian Grace said...

I didn't know anyone tie-died anymore. I wonder what she thought you would do with the finished products?

the reverend mommy said...

Oh. my.
I just purchase some paraments -- they are *so* expensive.

I also have some tie-tye remover, it you need it. You have to boil the paraments in this chemical for 15 minutes and it will remove the dye.

Does she have no idea how much those things cost? and the reason you might need white ones? Pure white? A little education could go a long way...

Purechristianithink said...

She knows the purpose of white paraments--I think she just figured we weren't going to be needing ours anymore, so why not experiment a little? In her defense, she helped the children make wonderful crimson/orange/gold tie-dyed fireburst banners two years ago at Pentecost. I'm sure the success of that project encouraged her to think of other possibilities for tie-dye in liturgical art. And BTW, we definetly still tie-dye here in Oregon.

PPB said...

Okay. I'm loving it.
Here's my thought. Does your presbytery have a summer camp? Maybe when the church closes they will accept them with gratitude. Or do they look that bad?

Ooh maybe my patchwork church wants them!

Most of all, I want a PICTURE!!!!

swayz said...

It's a funny and enlightening story, it really is, God bless your acceptance and tolerance. :)Can I ask a question? Why did you write, "my people"?

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Oh my....I have to agree with ppb. I need a pic. She must be wonderful with the kids. Tye dying is not easy and, with children, it would be harder! I love tye dye and yep...we do it here.

Purechristianithink said...

"My people...." I guess it's just shorthand for "the members of the congregation in which I am currently serving as pastor"--kind of like how my son's first grade teacher refers to the students in her classroom as "my kids".

Purechristianithink said...

And it's not that I have strong objections to tie-dye in church under all circumstances, it's just that tie-dying the formal, traditional paraments set up a clash of esthetics that was truly jarring and terrible to behold.

Sue said...

Too funny!!

St. Casserole said...

You handled the situation graciously. I'm afraid my fuse would blow over this kind of thing.
What a great story!

LutheranChik said...

I'm laughing, even as part of me is weeping over your poor paraments.

Next month I'm going to the Wheatland Music Festival in Remus, MI -- a very tie-dyed-intensive event -- which always hosts a Catholic folk mass on the premises Sunday morning. That would be the perfect venue for those paraments.;-)

Is there enough green in them to count as Pentecost-season paraments? ;-)

mis_nomer said...

Oh dear me. You were very gracious in your comments to her. I think I would have had a fit! Post a pic?

Pastor Katherine said...

Oh my.

This post came up in a Google Search... I'm trying to find a source for quality liturgical banners. I think this happened before I started reading you. How terrible, and funny... and I think I'll keep looking, because your poor tie-died paraments are NOT what I'm looking for!!